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Study Shows Confusion Still Exists about Lighting Technologies

Most consumers believe they are better informed than they actually are.

A recent representative survey conducted by Research Now on behalf of LEDVANCE answers questions about how consumers rate their own knowledge of light, what causes the greatest confusion, and how open and up-to-date they are regarding future issues of lighting technology.

“Although light bulbs are considered as a commodity category product, we generally undervalue the importance of lighting to our daily life and well-being,” says Wolfgang Mailaender, head of marketing for the United States and Canada, LEDVANCE.

“With choice can also come confusion as demonstrated by the fact that our survey discovered that a majority of Americans and Canadians, 77% and 69%, respectively, have at some time bought a lighting product for their household that was the wrong fit, shape, size, and/or light temperature,” Mailaender says.

Although a majority have bought the incorrect lighting product that they needed, most consumers believe they are better informed than they actually are. Seventy-one percent of consumers in the United States and Canada responded that the advantages and disadvantages of different lighting technologies ranging from (smart) LEDs to classic incandescent lamps are completely or at least sufficiently clear to them.

When questioned on relevant measurement units, such as the ones that have been printed on lamp or luminaire packaging for quite some time, 77% of survey respondents in the United States and 80% in Canada were still able to correctly assign watts to energy consumption. Kelvin and lumen, on the other hand, which are important measurement units in the LED world, were only identified by about half – 58% in both the United States and Canada, and 58%in the United States and 61% in Canada, respectively — as indications of color temperature and luminous flux.

According to Dr. Oliver Vogler, head of strategy and marketing at LEDVANCE, this poses a problem because “the color temperature and its kelvin value provide information about the light color – ranging from daylight white (from 5,300K) and cool white (3,300K to 5,300K) to warm white (up to 2,700K). The luminous flux given in lumens tells you how much light the lamp gives out. So, for energy-efficient LEDs, the crucial value for brightness is no longer watts, but lumens.”

Germany finished behind every other country when it came to identifying these measurements, with only 33% of all survey respondents correctly assigned all the units. The British, French, Swedish, Americans, Canadians, Brazilians, and Chinese, on the other hand, achieved between 40% and 50%. The Italians were top with 55%.

If you are wondering which lighting technologies consumers are looking for at their local DIY store or on the internet, you would not be surprised to find LED technology – either with or without smart functions – high on the list. Fifty-eight percent of Americans and 55% of Canadians look for LED, and 31% and 26% look for Smart LED products. What is surprising, however, is that old technologies still feature prominently with:

  • Halogen selected by 19% of both Americans and Canadians,
  • Fluorescent selected by 26% of Americans and 21% of Canadians, and
  • 18% of Americans and 16% of Canadians still stocking up on Incandescent light bulbs.

Human-centric lighting (HCL) is one of the major trends right now in the lighting industry, with plenty of hype surrounding it. It is scientifically proven that artificial light that closely simulates the changes in natural daylight can help make a valuable contribution to establishing and stabilizing human day/night biorhythms, which can help boost a person’s sense of well-being and improve his or her health.

In response to the question on the biological effect of artificial light on the human body, the majority of U.S. and Canadian respondents (about 72%) indicated, however, that they either did not believe it or know nothing about it. Nevertheless, two-thirds (66%) saw an advantage in using artificial light to stimulate body and spirit according to their individual needs. Thus, people are generally open-minded about HCL. For example, 62% of the respondents indicated that the biological effects of light would have a major influence on their purchasing decisions if they knew enough about it.

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